Sir Roger moves fellow graduates to tears

Sir Roger Bannister with Oxford Brookes University students, from left, Gareth Wilson, Chris Moy and James Daniel, who all graduated with a foundation degree in paramedic emergency care from the faculty of Health and Life sciences

Sir Roger Bannister with Oxford Brookes University students, from left, Gareth Wilson, Chris Moy and James Daniel, who all graduated with a foundation degree in paramedic emergency care from the faculty of Health and Life sciences Buy this photo

First published in News

IT is not often you see an 85-year-old don a graduation cap, but then Sir Roger Bannister is no ordinary pensioner.

Sir Roger, who was the first person to run a mile in under four minutes on Oxford’s Iffley Road track in 1954, moved graduates and guests to tears during the ceremony at Oxford Brookes yesterday.

The guest of honour who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, gave a speech to his fellow graduates from the faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

His wife, Lady Moyra, said: “Everyone said it was a good speech, and several had tears in their eyes.”

Talking to the Oxford Mail after the ceremony, Sir Roger, who lives in North Oxford, said: “I have a lot of respect for Oxford Brookes and the reputation that it’s gained over the last 30 years.”

The former master of Oxford University’s Pembroke College said: “I feel close to Oxford Brookes as a university and I’m sure that it’s going to continue to grow in popularity, especially as there are some very ambitious plans.

“I’m very proud that I was selected to have an honorary degree.”

Paramedic graduate Chris Moy, 23, said: “It was a great honour to meet him, he’s a sporting hero and an inspiration.

“In his speech he told us about his four-minute mile and his work in medicine and gave us an insight into that.

“He also told us to take care if we’re doing the Ice Bucket Challenge because it shocks the nervous system.”

In May the Oxford Mail revealed that Sir Roger, who dedicated his life to understanding neurological disorders, himself suffers from Parkinson’s disease.

He said: “Perhaps it’s an irony that I’m a neurologist and I have a condition like this.

“There are about 120,000 others who have it in the UK and for them I feel sympathy and I hope neurological researchers – sooner rather than later – find out enough about it so people can have effective treatment.”

Speaking of his decision to go public with his condition, he said: “I felt that it was obvious to anyone meeting me that I had problems, particularly in walking, so I felt that it was wrong to hide it.”

%audioboo(url="%audioboo(url= ‘http://audioboo.fm/boos/2445754-sir-roger-bannister’, title=’Sir Roger Bannister', author='Oxford Mail')", title="Roger Bannister audio", author="Peter Truman")

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

One in three children in parts of Oxford are living in poverty, says charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 30th October 2014

ONE in three children are living in poverty in areas of the city, a charity has found.

UPDATE: Road reopens after car overturns in Heyford Road, Middleton Stoney

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

10:12am Thursday 30th October 2014

A woman has been taken to hospital following a crash in Middleton Stoney.

LONDON WELSH: Piri Weepu plays down injury concerns

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh scrum half Piri Weepu yesterday played down concerns about the ankle injury that has left his right foot in a protective boot.

More than 40 Oxford buildings to get free wi-fi

Oxford Mail: Oxford Ice Rink

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

ART galleries, civic buildings and even Oxford Ice Rink will soon have free wi-fi thanks to government investment.

London Welsh scrum on down for a bit of action at Oxford's Radcliffe Camera

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 30th October 2014

LONDON Welsh rugby players are well known for their big hits on opponents in the Aviva Premiership, but yesterday they were the big hits as they took the Big City Scrum to the streets of Oxford.

Bishop of Oxford's farewell eucharist

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Thursday 30th October 2014

A farewell eucharist will be held today at Christ Church cathedral for the retiring Bishop of Oxford.

 

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree